Don Samuels responds to Minnesota Reformer article detailing self-dealing, missing funds, and lack of transparency by his opponent, Rep. Ilhan Omar and her husband, Tim Mynett

MINNEAPOLIS, June 6, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Don Samuels, a candidate for Congress in Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District, held a press conference to address Minnesota Reformer political reporter Max Nesterak’s article published yesterday about his opponent, Rep. Ilhan Omar, previously paying her husband Tim Mynett $3 million of campaign money and the ways her time in office has given his businesses access and credibility as they’ve misappropriated more than $1 million in money from South Dakota investors, left workers unpaid and found their funds frozen by the Office of Foreign Assets Control–the U.S. Treasury Department unit in charge of enforcing sanctions.

Samuels said, “Unfortunately, this story is just the latest scandal in a string of new stories about Rep. Omar that narrows the focus on her and brings us further from the type of progress our district and our country need around issues that affect the lives of our neighbors. Rep. Omar has used her three terms in Congress–-what many would consider the opportunity and honor of a lifetime–to divide our community and enrich herself in the process.”

Nesterak’s article lays out a series of businesses run by Omar’s husband, Tim Mynett, and his business partner, Will Hailer, that have benefited from funds controlled by or access provided by Omar. During the 2020 campaign cycle, Omar paid her husband’s political consultancy nearly $3 million, enriching her own household in the process. Mynett and Hailer then started a California winery, eStCru, after being given grapes in lieu of money for marketing work. The winery is currently embroiled in a strange breach of contract lawsuit, where through Omar’s political connections, they secured an investment of $300,000 on the promise of a $900,000 repayment just 18 months later.

The first of two venture capital firms started by Mynett and Hailer, eSt Ventures, was sued by South Dakota hemp investors after the firm failed to return over $1 million dollars to investors after a failed promise to raise additional funds for hemp-related businesses in that state. After weeks turned to months of excuses, Hailer told the investors that his money was being held by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the U.S. Treasury Department unit charged with enforcing sanctions. Hailer declined to elaborate on the circumstances of that hold or whether it was resolved in the Minnesota Reformer’s article.

Mynett and Hailer’s second venture capital firm, Rose Lake Capital, appears to be doing international business, including the buying and selling of distressed assets in foreign locales, with a focus on opportunities in Africa.

Omar has so far refused to comment on the story.

“The Fifth Congressional District and our country face significant challenges. We deserve elected officials who are focused on bringing people together and addressing issues like public safety, global climate change, and the security of our democracy–and, in this case, we deserve honesty, transparency, and answers,” said Samuels.

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Don Samuels responds to Minnesota Reformer article detailing self-dealing, missing funds, and lack of transparency by his opponent, Rep. Ilhan Omar and her husband, Tim Mynett WeeklyReviewer

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